What Facebook’s Graph Search means for Vacation Rental Marketing
Last month Facebook announced a new search system called Graph Search (now in Beta). My immediate reaction was that we’ll all have a new way of searching for and filtering results based on Facebook data, and that it could potentially be a great new opportunity for vacation rental guests and vacation rental owners to get connected.
How Facebook’s Graph Search Works
Facebook put out an introductory page to help those with questions see how the new Graph Search works. In a nutshell, it’s going to help you type in searches that pull up results related to your friends.
For example, imagine you are someone searching for something like “photos of my friends in Beaver Creek”. Facebook will pull up all of those results. If you are an individual considering a vacation in Beaver Creek, you might be interested in seeing some of the sights that your friends found interesting — especially if those include the condo they rented.
This type of search is particularly great for those friends you can’t really ask. That is, a “Facebook friend” is a bit different from someone you saw last Friday night.
Because Graph Search is still in the Beta testing stage, it is only available to select people in the U.S. You can, however, sign up to join the waiting list on the introductory page if you’re interested in possibly being one of the first.
Facebook doesn’t have all of their data and research gathered quite yet (hence still being in beta). This means that if you do get to try it early, typing in certain searches might not give you a full list of results yet.
Reasons Graph Search Might Be Awesome
- Gives “likes” real meaning. In the past, you might not have been able to find much of a reason for “likes” on a Facebook page because it can so easily be ignored. Now, your vacation rental businesses has a real reason to grab these likes — showing up in the new Facebook search engine.
- Great for local search. Facebook has lots of local data available at their fingertips, and it seems like the new Graph Search will really take advantage. This offers many potential vacation rental marketing opportunities, like zip code ad targeting, local page publishing, etc.
- Strength of connections becomes more important. For example, when people begin searching for rentals in a particular area, it’s those rentals that are “liked” by that person’s friends that matter. This means that a company “liking” your page might not be as beneficial as a person with hundreds of friends. After all, friends are going to look at their good friends’ results first.
- Competitor insights. Businesses can conduct their own searches to learn more about their competition in relation to their fans.
How You Can Take Advantage of Facebook’s Graph Search
Although you might not be able to use Graph Search just yet, you can still prepare for its arrival by checking in to different places and becoming more active clicking that “like” button. People will likely be typing in things like “vacation rentals my friends like,” so you want to be on that list now more than ever, so ramp up your efforts.
It’s also a good idea to listen to a few of the points discussed above—take a look at your competition, take a look at the depth of your relationships, and think about local search and how you can advertise in that market.
What are your thoughts on the Facebook Graph Search? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.